Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure GB-2020-14/1117 – measures in United Kingdom
|Country||United Kingdom , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Temporary, 01 April 2020 – 01 July 2020|
|Type||Other initiatives or policies|
Employment protection and retention
– Income support for people in employment (e.g., short-time work)
|Author||Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||14 September 2020 (updated 15 September 2020)|
In response to COVID-19 and the predictably significant impact on public sector/key workers, the Unison public sector trade union launched a fund specifically targeted at hardship caused by the virus. Eligible members could apply for a one-off grant of GBP 250.
The union's charity, There for You, is a welfare charity established to help members experiencing financial and emotional difficulties. There for you provides a confidential advice and support service for members and their dependants.
In a specific response to COVID-19 and under the auspices of There for You, a special fund of GBP 250,000, raised in part through contributions from local union branches, was established in order to help members experiencing difficulties caused by the pandemic. Eligible members of the Unison trade union could receive a one-off grant of GBP 250.
To be eligible for this financial assistance, the person must have been a member of UNISON for at least four weeks and must be up-to-date with their subscriptions. Partners or dependents can also apply.
The fund is currently suspended.
The fund is currently suspended but 900 members directly benefited from the one-off grant of GBP 250.
Other groups of workers
||Does not apply to businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Role||Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative||No involvement|
|Form||Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
This is an initiative designed and implemented by one of the UK's trade unions, whose membership is drawn from the public sector. It was therefore not a negotiated agreement; it is an initiative on the part of one trade union.
It can be assumed that other trade unions would, of course, have supported the assistance given to members who are suffering financial hardship.
Eurofound (2020), Public sector union Unison launches COVID-19 hardship fund for members, measure GB-2020-14/1117 (measures in United Kingdom), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/GB-2020-14_1117.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.